|Rochdale 3 v 1 Rotherham United|
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 7th March 2020 Kick-off 15:00
Match Report: Dale 3-1 Rotherham United
Saturday, 7th Mar 2020 20:05 by Chaff
Well, who saw that coming? Dale beat second placed Rotherham 3-1 at home. Things you love to see!
I don’t know whether any of you read my match preview this week but if you did, you’ll have realised that I know precisely bugger all about football. I basically said we had Bob Hope and no hope of winning this game today. Why not? Well, they came into the game second in the league, plenty of match winners, and well, we’re a bit rubbish. What a load of nonsense. Dale ran out 3-1 winners in pretty much our best display of the season. And with Tranmere also winning today, it was a huge win as well!
Our team selection changes that much that I can’t remember what changes are made game to game so I’ll just tell you that we lined up with Sanchez in goal, a back four of Matheson, O’Connell (thank god he was back), and fellow Irishmen Paul McShane and Jimmy Keohane. MJ sat protecting the back four while Aaron Morley was sat in a sort of quarterback role with Matt Lund doing the clearing up in midfield. Camps was just ahead of them with Wilbraham and Henderson up front.
Ollie Rathbone and Tyler Smith were back on the bench after spells out injured while Rhys Norrington-Davies missed out through injury. He pulled up during the Portsmouth match last week and may be out for a while looking at his Instagram post!
Rochdale started the game off fairly well though the visitors did have a couple of early half chance through Tilt and top scorer Ladapo but nothing too troubling and Dale were well in the game. It was certainly noticeable we weren’t playing possession football but a much more rounded game where we looked to get Henderson in with a ball over the Rotherham defence. We did actually look like scoring at times and it was good to see.
Rotherham did look dangerous when they broke and Ogbene was giving Keohane a very hard time down the wing but the Irishmen held firm.
The first real chance fell to Aaron Wilbraham after 24 minutes. MJ Williams did well in the middle of the park and set Henderson off down the right wing and Hendo pulled the ball back to Wilbraham who struck it goalwards only for a brilliant last ditch block by the defender on the line and then the rebound fell to Wilbraham but Camps got in the way of his second effort.
Just three minutes later and Dale were in the lead! Some brilliant hold up play by Wilbraham allowed him to lay the ball off to Morley who pinged a stunning pass into Hendo at the back post for him and he produced a great finish from an acute angle despite the best efforts of the defender to clear off the line.
Rotherham thought they’d pulled one back when Smith tucked home an effort on the line but his effort was ruled out for offside thankfully. A little bit of a let off for Dale.
Dale went into half time 1-0 up and looking good for it really.
The visitors went close when Smith got on the end of a deep corner but his effort was cleared brilliantly by Matty Lund.
With 70 minutes gone, Dale doubled their lead and in brilliant fashion. Matt Lund did absolutely brilliantly to win possession, and then took the ball past the Rotherham defender before playing a superb outside of the boot through ball to Henderson who coolly as you like slotted the ball past the keeper into the bottom corner. A great goal to bring up goal 126 for Hendo, leaving him 3 goals away from equalling the all-time goal scoring record!
If the second goal was superb, the third goal was exquisite. It’s taken a while for Matt Lund to properly show Dale fans what we all know he’s capable of and my word did he do that today! The move started with Lund just outside his own box, he played the ball to Camps and carried on his bursting run forward. Camps looped a through ball over the defence and found Lund like a homing missile and with the keeper off his line, Lund hit a first time lob over the keeper and into the back of the net. It was a sensational goal to cap off a superb performance. After all, all you need is Lund!
The one change Dale made saw Rathbone, back from injury, come on for Morley in the closing stages as Dale pushed to get a fourth.
The fourth didn’t come and neither did the clean sheet as Rotherham did manage a consolation goal in stoppage time. A great ball in from the left side was met by Jamie Lindsay who finished past Sanchez and the game ended 3-1.
That’s more like it Dale. As I mentioned, Tranmere won so a defeat today, while unexpected, would have seen us in trouble with Tranmere hot on our heels in the bid for safety. Now Dale remain 7 points clear of the drop zone with a couple more teams looking like they may get dragged in to the relegation battle.
Dale have a free weekend next week as it was supposed to be the bury game so our next fixture is Tranmere Rovers in a huge 6 pointer.
Robert Sanchez – 7: Good performance from Sanchez and deserved a clean sheet but it wasn’t quite to be.
Photo: Action Images
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